Friday, October 7, 2016

The Ballpark Mysteries 6: The Wrigley Riddle by David A. Kelly, illustrated by Mark Meyers

[Digging through the archives]

This is a new (to me at least) beginning chapter series that was completely off my radar until the publisher sent me some review copies.

It's a pretty typical beginning chapter series - some nondescript kids, simple mysteries, and a quirk that defines the series. The quirk for this series is that all the mysteries are set in famous ballparks. Cousins Mike and Kate are the detectives and Kate's mom is a sports reporter, which provides the backstory for them having access to so many famous ballparks. In this particular mystery, someone is cutting the historic ivy in Wrigley Field and the kids have to decide who's a suspect, look for clues, and set a trap to catch the culprit.

Along the way there's lots of history about the ballpark and the teams who have played there as well as the fans. The "Dugout Notes" at the back add even more details and context for the various events and traditions referenced in the book.

Verdict: This is a nice idea - mysteries with a baseball theme - and while there's nothing outstanding about it, it's a perfectly serviceable series. It's a nice touch to make the mom a sports reporter; I have a lot of girls ask for sports books and this does a good job of having a female detective and showing a nice balance of male and female fans. If you have space for another beginning chapter mystery series, this is a good choice.

[Revisited: This series is up to 12 with more titles coming in 2017 as well as some super specials. Kelly has also started a second sports-themed mystery series, MVP, Most Valuable Players. This series has grown in popularity and is definitely a good choice to add to your beginning chapter mystery series. It may eventually replace older staples like A to Z mysteries and Cam Jansen.]

ISBN: 9780307977762; Published 2013 by Stepping Stone/Random House; Review copy provided by the publisher; Donated to the library and the rest of the volumes in the series purchased.

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